Tuesday, October 28, 2008

FeedBack: Bash-Obamathon

Just like you to rain on our parade! (Polls are looking pretty good for Obama now.) But thanks for sending me this info. While Biden seemed to be speaking more in generalities, it is a bit chilling to see how specific Powell was that a crisis will be coming on some specific dates. More chilling is how he said it -- without batting an eye, as if predicting a crisis on a date specific is no big deal, as if such a thing were unremarkable. He certainly knows something that the rest of us do not.

Though you did not say so explicitly in your post, you seem to suggest that the establishment favors Obama because he will be a better salesman than McCain at implementing some very unpopular policies. That is probably true.

That much said, I will still vote for Obama. First, I could never forgive myself if I helped, even in a small way, another Republican get into the White House after eight years of Bush. Second, it's pretty clear what kind of Supreme Court justices McCain/Palin will appoint, and the next president will likely appoint at least one or two. Third, with Obama in the White House, I think there will be opportunities to do things (e.g., renewable energy initiatives, returning troops from Iraq, etc.) that simply will not exist with a McCain presidency. Of these, it is the Supreme Court appointments that frighten me the most. Republican presidents tend to appoint relatively young ideologues who will likely be on the Court for the rest of our lives.

Again, I understand the points that you are making, and it is possible that your danger detector has picked up on something that mine hasn't when it comes to Obama. The media, and the establishment in general, tend to be so anti-progressive in their orientation, we should be suspicious when it throws its support behind a particular candidate (which at this point appears to be Obama).

However, I like to take a glass half-full approach when I look at Obama. On one hand, there is the idealistic Obama that won some limited victories as a community organizer in Chicago; on the other, there is the Obama who has admittedly made many compromises as a politician. I have thought for some time now that American politics has been a battle between the Jekyl and Hyde personalities in our national psyche. With more and more people's eyes being opened, it appears that Dr. Jekyl finally seems to be winning. It is my hope that the establishment will be forced to grant concessions to the shift in American public opinion that appears to be taking place right now, and that Obama will follow suit. It is difficult for me to see that happening with McCain in office.

In the end, I suspect that an Obama presidency will be very Clintonesque in that he will be savagely criticized during his term, then looked back upon with fondness after the next Republican attack dog wins the White House.

In any event, after Obama (hopefully) wins the White House, I take comfort knowing that people like you will be there to keep him honest. Like any president, if elected, Obama should be supported when he deserves support and criticized when he deserves criticism.

Thanks again for your post.

Stan Gates

P.S.: Where can I get one those great T-shirts about the bailout?

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